Ventilation in your Horse Stables
When it comes to designing your new Barn or Stables, there are so many elements to consider. Ensuring the layout works and that the Stables are easily accessible, maybe using a sliding door instead of a hinged door if space is a constraint, considering locations for the tack room and wash bay, which Stable frontages are preferred, the list goes on.
However, one key element is often unfortunately overlooked, which is adequate ventilation.
Correct ventilation is a crucial aspect of good horse management and keeping horses healthy. Creating a well-ventilated and airy Stable provides a plentiful supply of clean air for optimum health and fitness which greatly reduces the chances of allergies and infectious respiratory diseases.
Ways to Improve Ventilation;
- Ensure there is adequate air flow into and out of the barn, not too much to create a draft but enough to ensure the air can circulate through the stables. Ideally, these air vents should be situated higher to allow for hot air to rise and escape on the warmer days
- Sunlight isn’t just a great source of natural light (and perfect for keeping the electricity bills down!), it is also a potent killer of a wide range of airborne viruses and bacteria. Plastic Skylights are a perfect tool to provide a light and healthy environment.
- Fans could be installed to help circulate air.
- Hay and bedding are major sources of mold spores and particles which can be transmitted through the air. Therefore it is a good idea to keep these at a distance from the stables to prevent any transition.
- Bedding can also play a part, the most commonly used straw or wood shavings are actually major sources of inhalant matter. Rubber matting or shredded paper dramatically cut down the amount of airborne particles.
- Its good practice to muck out your stables every day. Otherwise, ammonia fumes and other air pollutants become concentrated and lead to respiratory problems.
If you have an existing building, you can make many changes retrospectively to aid ventilation within your Stables. As mentioned above, just changing the store location of hay and bedding or mucking out more often is a great start. You can also add extra plastic Skylights to the roof or windows such as Shutters or Plexi Glass windows which allow light in during the bad weather but can be fully opened allowing sunshine and fresh air to circulate throughout the barn.
Whatever changes you make to improve ventilation, your horses will appreciate it, especially on these hotter Summer days!